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January 6, 2014 | By David Lauter and Tim Phelps, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Monday put same-sex marriages on hold in Utah until a federal appeals court can rule on whether the state law banning the practice violates the Constitution. The unsigned, one-paragraph order did not spell out the court's reasoning in the case -- orders that put lower-court decisions on hold frequently do not do so. The order did not indicate any dissents. The decision will block further same-sex marriages in Utah for at least several weeks.
January 27, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Monday relaxed sentencing guidelines for drug dealers, ruling they may not be given a mandatory 20-year prison term every time an overdose results in the death of a user. In a 9-0 decision, the justices ruled that federal prosecutors must prove that the heroin, cocaine or other illegal drug actually caused the death. Previously prosecutors and most federal courts had maintained that drug dealers must be sentenced to least 20 years in prison whenever an illegal drug was a “contributing cause” in a death.
February 26, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision ruled Wednesday that military commanders have broad power to keep protesters off of bases, including the public roads that pass through them. The decision upholds the prosecution of a veteran peace activist from Santa Barbara who repeatedly returned to protest on a highway outside Vandenberg Air Force Base, even after he had been ordered to stay away. John Dennis Apel had been barred from Vandenberg in 2003 after he threw blood on a base sign.
May 28, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court dealt a setback Tuesday to the campaign of abortion opponents to “defund” Planned Parenthood. Without comment, the justices turned away Indiana's defense of a 2011 law that would ban all Medicaid funds to an organization such as Planned Parenthood whose work includes performing abortions. The high court let stand decisions by a federal judge in Indiana and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago that blocked the measure from taking effect.
December 12, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Monday that she welcomed the Supreme Court's decision to hear arguments about the state's controversial illegal immigration law. "I am confident the high court will uphold Arizona's constitutional authority and obligation to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens," she said in a statement. "This case is not just about Arizona. It's about every state grappling with the costs of illegal immigration. And it's about the fundamental principle of federalism, under which these states have a right to defend their people.
December 9, 2011 | By James Oliphant
Numbers. They're the darnedest things. Just ask Rick Perry. The GOP presidential contender, whose misfires have become part of the legend of the 2012 race, appears to have made another flub or two Friday in an interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board, getting wrong the number of justices on the Supreme Court and blanking out on the name of one justice altogether. According to reports by the Register and the Associated Press, Perry was all set to call out Justice Sonia Sotomayor, an Obama nominee, as a "activist judge" -- except he couldn't recall her name.
June 20, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court blocked restaurant owners from suing American Express over high fees Thursday, the latest in a series of 5-4 rulings have barred class-action claims against big corporations. The majority agreed individual restaurant owners could not afford the nearly $1 million cost of bringing an antitrust claim against Amex. But they ruled that an arbitration clause prevents the restaurant owners from joining together to sue. “The antitrust laws do not guarantee an affordable path to the vindication of every claim,” said Justice Antonin Scalia.
June 18, 2012 | By Paul West
WASHINGTON - With the Supreme Court's 2011-2012 term rapidly coming to a close, the release of a decision on the constitutionality of President Obama's sweeping healthcare law is imminent - but it won't be today. The justices issued their latest set of decisions on Monday morning and the healthcare ruling wasn't among them. The case is being closely monitored by both the legal and political communities, as the healthcare industry, government officials at the state and federal levels and many more.
December 11, 2013 | By Mark Magnier and Tanvi Sharma
NEW DELHI - In a reversal that surprised many gay activists and flew in the face of changes seen in some other countries recently, India's Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned a lower-court ruling, in effect making homosexuality a crime again. The nation's top court overturned a 2009 Delhi High Court decision that decriminalized homosexual sex between consenting adults. In Wednesday's ruling, the top court argued that the lower court had overstepped its mandate and had no right to augment the law. “It is up to parliament to legislate on this issue," said Justice G.S. Singhvi, who headed the two-judge Supreme Court bench.
July 16, 2012 | By Morgan Little
What a difference a single court decision can make. In the wake of the Supreme Court's monumental decision on President Obama's healthcare reform law, Republican opinions of the court and Chief Justice John G. Roberts have plummeted, while Democrats now view both more favorably, according to a new Gallup poll . The court's 5-4 decision held that the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate was constitutional when defined as a tax. It was...
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